Recently digital items (e.g., avatars) have been widely used by people in virtual communities (VC) and online games. Some Internet companies generate revenue from sales of digital items to their customers. Sales of digital items provide revenue for Internet companies and VC providers who are suffering from lack of a profitable business model. However there is a lack of understanding about people’s digital item purchase and usage. This study examines why people pay for digital items from the self-presentation perspective, by focusing on online identity, based on social identity theory. The findings show that the presentation desire of online identity leads to intention of purchasing digital items. The results show the significance of online group norm and online group involvement in enhancing the presentation desire from the online social identity perspective. This study also identifies the significance of interaction effects between personal innovativeness and online group involvement in enhancing the presentation desire from the online personal perspective. These findings help to advance theory and offer practical insights in the context of Internet business and VC.
Kim, Hee-Woong and Chan, Hock Chuan, "Why People Pay for Digital Items? Presentation Desire of Online Identity" (2007). PACIS 2007 Proceedings. 7.